Two contractors were indicted this week on criminally negligent homicide charges in the death of a Bohemia man, construction foreman Robert McGee, who was crushed when near-hurricane wind gusts sent a concrete wall crashing down on him at a Staten Island work site two years ago.
McGee, 59, was working on the second floor of a partially constructed building on Feb. 12, 2009 when the wall toppled. He died at the scene.
A grand jury indictment was unsealed Thursday after a complex, two year investigation, Richmond County District Attorney Daniel M. Donovan Jr. said in a statement.
The accused men, Michael Fazio, 50, of Short Hills, N.J., and Anthony Malfi, 43, of Staten Island, pleaded not guilty to the charges in State Supreme Court in Staten Island, and were released on their own recognizance, court records show. Lawyers for Fazio and Malfi did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday.
The wall that collapsed, "built by Malfi and his company, Well Built Development Corp., did not meet the approved engineer's specifications and was not properly mortared or reinforced," the DA's office said.
"Fazio's company — Woodrow Builders Llc, the general contractor for the site — left the wall in that hazardous condition for three weeks, failing to have it inspected as required under the New York City Building Code," the district attorney said.
The two ignored their responsibilities "and someone died because of it," Donovan said. Family members of McGee could not be reached Friday.
A Newsday story about the severe weather of Feb. 12, 2009, said high winds reached “ near hurricane-force gusts that ripped limbs off trees, took over steering wheels and downed utility poles. A Bohemia man was killed in a construction accident on Staten Island ...”
The Newsday story continued: “Violent winds toppled a concrete wall, killing a Bohemia man doing carpentry in Staten Island, authorities said. The wall collapsed onto Robert L. McGee, 59 ...(who) was on the second floor of a two-story building laying down metal tracks when the wall collapsed ... He was declared dead at the scene.”
Photo: Firefighters at the scene of the wall collapse in Staten Island on Feb. 12, 2009.